Today the weather was supposed to be partly sunny and in the 60s, so we chose to go to Camden Lock to take a boat cruise along the Regent's Canal. We rode the tube and stepped out into a slightly different world.
|Camden Town High Street|
The town is full of tattoo parlors, piercing studios and leather adorned with chains. The crowd was young and experimental, enjoying both the wares and the window shopping. In some ways it felt like we were in Amsterdam since the air was redolent with substances that are not at all legal in the UK.
|Dark Angel in Camden Town|
A lot of the shops display large 3D icons of their wares above their store (since a picture is worth a thousand words in any language). The stores and markets in Camden are a major tourist attraction at weekends, selling goods of all types including fashion, lifestyle, books, food, junk/antiques and more bizarre items; they and the surrounding shops are popular with young people, in particular those searching for "alternative" clothing.
After we wandered and gawked for a bit, we headed over to Walker's Quay, which runs the canal boat tours, and were surprised to discover it was located in a cafe. The woman selling tickets to the boats sat at a small corner table set near the front window of the restaurant. Not exactly what we were expecting, but it worked. However, we were a little nervous as we walked down the stairs, tickets in hand toward a boat that had seen better days. Considering how much Walker's depends on tourists for their trade, you'd think they'd spruce the boat and its walk up a bit, but who am I to complain?
Avoiding the holes in the dock, we gingerly made it down to our boat, which photographs a lot better than it looks close up, and stepped down to the padded wooden chairs that weren't fixed to the boat in any manner. We sat up next to the bow (front) hoping we could get better pictures that way.
|Jenny Wren on its journey|
|Former Toll Booth on Regent's Canal|
|Chinese Floating Restaurant|
|A well to do home|
|Third home on the trip|
Work on the canal began on 14 October 1812. The first section from Paddington to Camden Town, opened in 1816 and included a 251-metre (274 yd) long tunnel under Maida Hill east of an area now known as 'Little Venice', and a much shorter tunnel, just 48 metres (52 yd) long, under Lisson Grove. The Camden to Limehouse section, including the 886-metre (969 yd) long Islington tunnel and the Regent's Canal Dock (used to transfer cargo from seafaring vessels to canal barges – today known as Limehouse Basin), opened four years later on 1 August 1820.
The City Road Basin, the nearest to the City of London, soon eclipsed the Paddington Basin in the amount of goods carried, principally coal and building materials. These were goods that were being shipped locally, in contrast to the canal's original purpose of transshipping imports to the Midlands. The opening of the London and Birmingham Railway in 1838 actually increased the tonnage of coal carried by the canal. However, by the early twentieth century, with the Midland trade lost to the railways, and more deliveries made by road, the canal fell into a long decline.
|The iconic bridge in Camden|
After our boat trip we caught a bus and headed toward Googe Street where we'd been told one of the best fish and chips restaurants resided on Tottenham Street. Gigs.
They were able to seat us right away and we told them they'd come highly recommended to us. We did order appetizers (hubby had Scampi and I had Calamari) and the fish and chips. Again hubby requested the cod and I wanted haddock.
|My Fish and Chips dinner|